Have you moved lately? If so, you have my complete sympathy. I detest moving and my intention is never to do it again–with the one major exception I’ll talk about further down the page.
As the child of a Baptist minister, I lived in a variety of places growing up:
- Hollywood, Florida (six months)
- Farmville, Virginia (eight years)
- Durham, North Carolina (three-and-a-half years)
- Norfolk, Virginia (six years)
- Cumberland, Maryland (four years)
I was too young to know what was happening when we moved from Hollywood to Farmville, but the emotional trauma of the move from Farmville to Durham was tremendous. I’d never had any reason to think I wouldn’t live in Farmville forever. Our other moves were more positive, thank goodness, but I became increasingly responsible for packing my own things. And helping with other packing as well.
After college graduation, however, I was on my own. Moving was largely a matter of choice. I’ve spent my adult years in:
- Cambridge, Maryland — eight years
- Easton, Maryland — six years
- Richmond, Virginia — thirty-one years
The trauma may have been less, but the physical demands of moving were horrible for someone as lacking in physical strength as I am.
When I moved to Cambridge to teach, I roomed for a while in a guest house, where I didn’t need a lot of stuff. Then I moved into an apartment with a fellow teacher, found a different apartment the following summer when my roommate returned to Pennsylvania, and then found a nifty third floor apartment that fall.
By then I had a lot more stuff than I’d had when I first moved to Cambridge, and bringing groceries upstairs exercised me in ways I would’ve preferred avoiding. I would’ve stayed in that apartment years longer had my landlord not decided to let his grown daughter have my place.
I needed another apartment. Pronto. And not only did I have more furniture to move, I’d bought a small piano months earlier. You should’ve seen them delivering that to the third floor. Getting it back down the steps was even more challenging because it was up to me and my friends to do it.
I was able to take over a suitable apartment from teacher friends who were moving, too. I had a first floor place this time. But boy! did those space heaters not do an adequate job of keeping things warm. My wife and I accumulated more and more stuff.
Then she and I bought our first house–a real fixer at $15,000. Fortunately, we only needed to move a few blocks. I’ll never forget strapping the drier to a dolly and pulling it behind the pickup truck–very, very slowly.
By the time we moved to Easton, where we’d bought a new mobile home, we had more furniture and other stuff than ever. That was about a seventeen mile move. Distance didn’t really matter, though. When moving, it’s necessary to pack just as carefully for a short trip as for a long one.
And that’s just the beginning of the history of my moves. Our longest one was from Easton to Richmond. Between then–1984–and our separation in 2001, we lived in an apartment, a townhouse, and finally an actual house again. A new one that was all ours.
I bought a new mobile home. That’s where Kathleen and I live today, fourteen years later. Unless you’ve been doing the math, you may not have noticed that I’ve not only lived in Richmond longer than in any other place, but I’ve lived in my current home longer than I’d ever lived in any single residence. I love stability!
If you’ve ever moved–most people have–you know what a pain it is. That’s why I’m determined to stay here the rest of my life. If I should ever have to go to a nursing home, I’ll probably be too feeble-minded to care, especially since it would happen without any physical effort on my part.
But I do have one final move coming up. A very final one. And it’s one I’m actually looking forward to. Let me tell you about it with a stanza from one of my original songs:
Heaven is the home of God; He shares it with believers,
Though movin’ there takes a lifetime to do.
I cannot claim to tell you just where Heaven is located,
But day by day, I long to see it more.
I hope I’ll see each of you there when the time comes. How about leaving a comment?
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“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.
My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Family Christian Stores. Go HERE for links to those places.